Tank Leak Detection

Through our many years of experience with storage tank characterization and monitoring, HGI has become a recognized leader in the application of geophysical methods to perform subsurface tank leak detection and monitoring in industrial complexes.  We have decades of experience ranging from long-term monitoring at the DOE Hanford Nuclear Site during retrieval and transfer of storage tank liquids to single snapshot resistivity surveys to determine storage tank integrity or extent of leakage from compromised storage tanks at industrial and mine sites.

We have decades of experience!

Tank leak detection monitoring for DOE Hanford Nuclear Site.

Single snapshot resistivity surveys for tank integrity.

Characterization of leakage from compromised storage tanks.

HGI primarily utilizes the electrical resistivity method for tank leak detection and monitoring which takes advantage of changes in the electrical properties of material surrounding a storage tank should a leak occur.  The type of electrical resistivity surveys HGI performs are entirely tailored to the specific site needs and type of storage tank (surface or subsurface based).  Our storage tank characterization surveys can range in size and duration as follows:

  • Single Snapshot Visualization – used to characterize storage tank integrity and visualize the extent of a potential subsurface waste plume at the time of the survey visit.
  • Intermittent Monitoring – return resistivity surveying at a client specified interval to determine storage tank waste migration or to verify continued tank integrity or success of remediation efforts.
  • Long-term Monitoring – semi-permanent to permanent equipment installation with either intermittent or continuous assurance monitoring.  This option can include real-time data processing, visualization, and leak alert notification.


HGI personnel deploying a resistivity survey line for Tank Leak Detection and characterization

HGI personnel deploying a resistivity survey line.

For the first two options, multiple survey lines can be placed around the tank to determine direction and extent of any past fluid release.  These survey lines are analyzed for conductive targets indicative of a loss of storage tank contents into the surrounding native or fill material.  Targets can then be tracked both laterally and vertically through the survey area and over time through repeat surveys.   For larger scale 3D surveys with extensive site infrastructure, such as monitoring wells or neighboring tanks, HGI has successfully used this infrastructure as sensors to enhance the survey coverage and results.

For long-term or permanent tank leak detection monitoring a custom data acquisition system (DAS) is housed in a small trailer sited adjacent to the tank(s) providing real-time data processing and leak alert services.  A site specific sensor network is designed and installed to monitor the tank(s) and connected back to the DAS.  As the data are acquired and processed, they are graphed and the trends are evaluated for leaks.  Our LDM AutoPro and AutoView Software provide automated data assessment, web based remote access, 24/7 system status monitoring, and daily expert visual assessment.

HGI’s tank leak detection and monitoring deliverables to the client can include 2D inverted electrical resistivity profiles, plan-view coverage and target tracking summary plot, and in larger-scale surveys 3D inversions and/or renderings of waste plumes.

Tank Leak Detection - 3D Tank Leak Deliverables

3D representation of a waste plume from a leaking undergorund tank